I haven't heard from Daren since the concrete was poured; there are only one or two very small things to finish. I think he's really tired of the project. It has been an interesting and great experience.
The exposed soil is clay which is very, very hard when dry but, when wet, it reminds me of the 'slip' clay we used when I was in grade school many decades ago. I think I'll cover it with good old reliable wood chips. Clicking on photos enlarges them.